Michael Rice, Ned Denison Discuss The SCAR Swim Challenge On WOWSA Live
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
On the May 8th edition of WOWSA Live, Steven Munatones interviewed S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge record holders Ned Denison and Michael Rice talk about their experiences during the 4-day 66.9 km S.C.A.R. stage swim in Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake and Roosevelt Lake in Arizona, a famed marathon swim organized by Kent Nicholas.
Rice completed the stage swim in 13 hours 7 minutes, breaking Denison’s male record 14 hours 57 minutes at one of the longest competitive marathon swims and part of the Triple Crown of Stage Swims.
Rice’s kayaker gave him more than guidance along the four lakes. His mother Gail Rice provided Michael and his sister Sarah Rice with the DNA of an accomplished swimmer in her own right*
Denison set his record in 2013 when the overall record holder Grace van der Byl completed the 4-stage 66.9 course in 13 hours 7 minutes 56 seconds. Rice’s splits over the four-day race last week were as follows:
- Day 1 at Saguaro Lake: 2 hours 59 minutes 42.8 seconds
- Day 2 at Canyon Lake: 2 hours 49 minutes 26.8 seconds
- Day 3 at Apache Lake: 4 hours 57 minutes 50.3 seconds
- Day 4 at Roosevelt Lake: 2 hours 33 minutes 9.3 seconds
Race director Kent Nicholas said, “SCAR 2021 is in the books with a great turnout. Champion SCAR buckles were awarded to Michael Rice and Sarah Thomas. Saguaro was stormy and challenging. Canyon proved to be chilly, but beautiful as always. Apache had its coldest start, but very favorable conditions with water being released from the start, combined with a tailwind. Roosevelt was nothing short of a beautiful sunset and shooting stars.”
Final Results of the 4-Stagers:
- Michael Rice, 13 hours 20 minutes 9.2 seconds
- Sarah Thomas, 14 hours 43 minutes 17.4 seconds
- Kelly Harrigan, 14 hours 53 minutes 25.8 seconds
- Rocio Mora, 15 hours 11 minutes 39.0 seconds
- Heather Roca, 15 hours 53 minutes 36.6 seconds
- Mike Herrmann, 16 hours 39 minutes 57.4 seconds
- Brian Campbell, 16 hours 50 minutes 42.8 seconds
- Edie Markovich, 17 hours 16 minutes 49.3 seconds
- Steve Sutton, 18 hours 55 minutes 39.0 seconds
- Sarah Bird, 19 hours 3 minutes 16.4 seconds
- Natalia Chuich, 19 hours 40 minutes 30.2 seconds
- Jamie Tout, 21 hours 43 minutes 16.9 seconds
- Kate Howell, 23 hours 10 minutes 9.8 seconds
- Gabriella Rishel, 23 hours 39 minutes 22.9 seconds
- Gina Harden, 24 hours 10 minutes 58.4 seconds
- Gigi Goesling, 25 hours 24 minutes 31.7 seconds
- Tom Linthicum, 25 hours 39 minutes 55.1 seconds
- Joe Zemaitis, 36 hours 20 minutes 31 seconds for a Double SCAR with an 8 hour 18 minute 58 second two-way crossing of Saguaro Lake, a 7 hour 35 minute 21 second two-way crossing of Canyon Lake, a 14 hour 26 minute 31 second two-way crossing of Apache Lake, and a 5 hour 59 minute 41 second two-way crossing of Roosevelt Lake.
Zemaitis completed only the second Double SCAR after 56-year-old Liz Fry pioneered the feat in May 2015 with a 26.6 km double crossing of Saguaro Lake in 6 hours 42 minutes 48 seconds, a 28.2 km double crossing of Canyon Lake in 6 hours 26 minutes 40 seconds, a 45.6 km double crossing of Apache Lake in 15 hours 46 minutes 4 seconds, and an 18 km double crossing of Roosevelt Lake in 6 hours 18 minutes 49 seconds for a cumulative time of 35 hours 14 minutes 21 seconds.
For the complete results of all swimmers on all stages, visit here.
The historical winners include:
- 2021 overall winner: Michael Rice in 13 hours 20 minutes 9.2 seconds (44 swimmers)
- 2019 overall winner: Jessica Kieras in 14 hours 43 minutes 56.8 seconds (51 swimmers)
- 2018 overall winner: Jamie Ann Phillips in 15 hours 15 minutes 20.6 seconds (56 swimmers)
- 2017 overall winner: Stephen Rouch in 16 hours 48 minutes 49.2 seconds (46 swimmers)
- 2016 overall winner: Stephen Rouch in 15 hours 45 minutes 31.1 seconds (48 swimmers)
- 2015 overall winner: Cole Gindhart in 16 hours 13 minutes 14.8 seconds (48 swimmers)
- 2014 overall winner: Kristin Jones in 15 hours 56 minutes 53 seconds (31 swimmers)
- 2013 overall winner: Grace van der Byl in 13 hours 7 minutes 56 seconds (21 swimmers)
- 2012 overall winner: Kurt Dickson (8 swimmers)
* Career highlights of Michael’s mother Gail Rice:
- Rice completed the English Channel in 1999 in 8 hours 12 minutes, one of the fastest female crossings of all time at the age of 43.
- Rice won the 45.9 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 1995 at the age of 38.
- Rice finished second in the 45.9 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 1996 7 hours 27 minutes 45 seconds as one of the only two women in the field at the age of 39.
- Rice won the 24-mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in 1998 at the age of 42, becoming the first woman to complete the 24-mile swim and setting a record of 8 hours 34 minutes.
- Rice was the first person to swim 22 miles around Sanibel Island in Florida, finishing in 9 hours 27 minutes despite tough currents.
- Rice swam 12.5 miles – all butterfly – around Key West, Florida where her escort kayaker confirmed that she never broke stroke.
- At the age of 39, Rice swam 21 miles around Miami Beach in 1996 in 8 hours 9 minutes, together with Randy Nutt who were the first people to do so.
- Rice attempted a 50-mile swim from Bimini to Florida in 1997 where she was pulled from the water at the 14 hour 57 minute mark after swimming 44 miles.
- Rice was the overall age group series winner in the Nike Ocean Mile Series in 1996.
- Rice finished second in the 12.5-mile Swim Around Key West in 1996 to her 15-year-old daughter Sarah Rice who set a new course record.
- Rice won the 18th annual Swim Around Key West in 1994.
- Rice won the Miami Mile (first female) in Florida.
- Rice won the Delray Ocean Mile (second female) in Florida.
- Rice finished third overall in the Ft. Lauderdale Ocean Mile in Florida.
- Rice won the Boca Ocean Mile in Florida
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